—August 25, 2010
              one month after my murder
              (in the voice of Stephen B. Pitcairn)

I miss small joys: oysters
on the half shell, a good joke.

I want years to explore
all the stops on my personal map.

Give me the chance to celebrate
my twenty-fourth birthday.

Is it too much to ask
for one piece of chocolate cake?

I grieve for my parents, my sisters,
my co-workers, my friends—
the light they lost when I died.

My mother heard my final cries
over the phone—Mom,
the last word I spoke.

I need time for embraces, hugs,
a long exuberant farewell.

I forgive the pair who gouged my heart;
make them understand what they did.

Thank you, kind stranger,
who held me in the street.

I did not know your name;
I could barely move my lips.

Blood flowed from my wound,
soaking both of us.

I felt your comfort—your voice
calmed my final breath.

Goodbye, dear ones, I’ll be off now,
the youngest doctor in the angel crowd;
they gave me an instant medical degree.

Look for me in the gallant
green-garbed full moon, my grin
an oasis in the night sky.

In quiet moments, listen to nature:
birds, cicadas, a butterfly wing.
In their music, my heart still beats.

After Words